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Gandhi items to return to India for public display

THE set of items belonging to India's modern founding father Mahatma Gandhi will return to India for public display after an Indian tycoon bought them at an auction in New York early today, said local media reports.

Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya bought the personal possessions of Gandhi, including his trademark round-rimmed spectacles, a pair of sandals, a pocket watch, a bowl and a plate, for US$1.8 million from American collector Jamese Otis.

However, the United States Justice Department had asked the auction house to hold the set for two weeks pending a resolution between the new owner, and the US and Indian governments.

Mallya's representative, Tony Bedi, told local television that the belongings will be flown to India for public display.

"I am sure all Indians will be pleased that these Gandhi items will be coming home," Bedi said.

The Indian government had tried to stop the auction until the last minute, saying India opposed the commercialization of Gandhi's belongings as it went against the ideas of the statesman.


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